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Saturday, June 14, 2003
Yes, but America is the real police state!
The protests in Iran have taken a turn for the worse:

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Automatic gunfire echoed in the Iranian capital early Saturday as hundreds of hard-line Islamic militants, some armed with Kalashnikov rifles, attacked groups of people demonstrating against clerical rule.

In the most serious violence since the U.S.-applauded pro-democracy protests began four days ago, witnesses also reported seeing hard-line vigilantes pulling young women out of cars and beating them with sticks.

Police stood by as hundreds of militiamen, who wear no uniforms and are fiercely loyal to Iran's conservative clerical leaders, manned checkpoints and roared around on motorbikes brandishing batons and chains. By 3:30 a.m. (7 p.m. EDT on Friday) there were no signs of protesters on the streets of the capital and hard-line vigilantes had complete control of streets around the Tehran University dormitory which has been the focal point of the demonstrations.

Let's hope it's only a temporary setback. And just for fun, contrast these courageous Iranian students with the (U.N.-applauded?) anti-democracy protestors in the U.S. and Europe from a few months back. (Apologies if the comparison makes you ill.)

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